Akron Children’s Hospital opens doors of new Emily Cooper Welty Expressive Therapy Center

Center Offers a holistic, arts-centered healing environment

Akron Children’s opens Expressive Therapy Center


Akron Children’s Hospital has announced the opening of its new Emily Cooper Welty Expressive Therapy Center, the region’s only dedicated expressive therapy facility designed for patients, families, staff and the community to receive holistic healing through the arts.

The 3,000-square-foot, $1.8 million facility is housed in a large, colorful, sky-lit space and allows children to use various forms of art to deal with illness, cope with emotions and find comfort, while bringing families together.

Located on Akron Children’s downtown Akron campus, the center provides:

The center is staffed by board-certified art and music therapists trained in the psychosocial and physiological needs of children and families.

“For children with serious or life-threatening conditions, the ability to be creative through the arts enhances strength, energy and coping,” said Sarah Friebert, MD, Director of the Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center and President of the Medical Staff. “Expressive therapy empowers patients by helping them accept their diagnosis, exert control in an uncontrollable situation, and cope with feelings of fear, depression, isolation and withdrawal. Children, who sometimes may be too young or overwhelmed to express their feelings in words, receive the necessary tools to communicate in a variety of other ways.”

Open now to current Akron Children’s Hospital patients and families, the center will expand its offerings to allow staff members, community members and students to utilize the facility’s services to help achieve their specific goals.

Named for Emily Cooper Welty, in honor of her $1.2 million donation, the Center receives support through various community donations, including significant monetary contributions from Panera Bread, Northern Ohio Golf Charities, Akron Children’s Hospital Women’s Board, the Paul and Carol David Foundation, the Helen Brach Foundation, the Howard Atwood family, Eileen Burg and Dr. Ron and Maureen Russ.

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